Man, I love the ‘70s—times when researchers could tie a brick to your privates and no one would say a goddamn word to them. They could design all too ridiculous for words studies just for the sake of getting reliable data.
One such study was done in 1964 to find out how different macronutrient ratios affect fat loss. Investigators found 5 obese people and said to them:
And the bunch said:
Next, investigators calculated the number of calories needed for weight loss to occur and fed every subject a liquid formula diet containing that number every day.
At intervals, the composition of the diet has been changed:
Guess what happened at the end of the study? Well, all patients sucked those 10 weeks up and… lost the same amount of weight regardless of the macronutrient ratios of the diet.
Let’s bring the century forward by 57 years and now we have keto zealots claiming that high fat, moderate protein, low carb ratio is superior to other macro compositions.
Not according to a fuck load of studies that matched calories between low and high carb groups:
Similarly, the 2018 study concluded that:
So there you go—a perfect macro ratio is a myth (although fear-mongering low-carb schlocks who live in a fairy-tale world of unicorns tried to come up with one).
It doesn’t matter for fat loss as long as you’re in a calorie deficit (people who need specific macronutrient compositions for medical reasons aside).
…Cast your mind to this article where I said that the goal of every sound weight loss plan shouldn’t be merely losing weight. It should be:
That said, getting X amount of protein, carbs, and fat per day still matters for muscle retention, satiety, health, sanity, etc. As Alan Aragon observed, everything matters, but to varying degrees, depending on your objectives.
So to optimize fat loss, here’s what you should take care of when it comes to macros:
- Get 1.6-2.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight (.7-1 g/lb)1 because of the squillions of reasons that I talked about in fat loss fundamentals article (if you strength train).
- Get no less than 0.65 g of fat per kg of body weight (.3 g/lb) because your body needs fat to maintain health, satiety, and sanity (very low-fat diets taste like chlorine and kale).
- Allocate the rest of your calories to carbohydrates and more fat (if you want) based on your preferences, training volume and intensity, health, satiety, and sanity (very low carb diets are often hard to sustain).
If you’re into pissing on a stick to find ketone levels and you love avocados, butter in coffee, and all that weird stuff, then this could be your plate:
If you hate people peeing on a stick and you love carbs, consider eating like this:
Since I have a balanced mind, I live on a balanced diet. Therefore, my plate looks like this:
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that some magical or secret macro ratio can bring you immediate fat loss. Instead, do these two things:
- Implement the most reliable multi-ingredient supplement which is caloric deficit coupled with patience and consistency.
- Base macronutrients around your personal preferences, training, and goal.
Do those and you will turn into a “fat-burning furnace” or something (read: you WILL lose weight).